Bush Iraq Speech Sneak Peak
Yesterday, I offered a lengthy preview of tonight's nationally televised address on Iraq by President Bush. In the Perrspectives Guide to the Bush Address, I highlighted the Five Things Bush Must Do to rebuild public support for the conflict in Iraq.
In that Guide, I also pointed out the rhetorical warning signs that Bush's rhetoric is unchanged, his plans unaltered and the prospects for American victory dimmed. Sadly, a preview of the Bush speech seems to contain them the most disingenous ones:
1. The 9/11 Connection
As in June 18th weekly radio address, the President plans to once again to shamelessly draw linkages between 9/11 and Iraq:
"The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of Sept. 11, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like bin Laden."
2. Defining Success as the Spread of Freedom
As I described yesterday, Bush must be clear in defining "victory" and whether or not it is still achievable. Preventing Iraq from degenerating into the next failed state and terrorist haven like Somalia (or worse yet, Afghanistan), should be the objective. If the President uses language about democracy promotion, including his overused "God's gift the humanity line", we can be sure Bush has made no progress. Lo and behold, Bush echoes Mel Gibson's Braveheart William Wallace on the aims in Iraq:
"The terrorists can kill the innocent -- but they cannot stop the advance of freedom."
If Bush is to have any hope of restoring his credibility, he must take accountability for the path to war and the occupation, offer a plan for success and ask the American people to make the needed sacrifices.
If this sneak preview is any indication, I wouldn't hold your breath.